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Making Friends: Back to the Drawing Board by Kristen Gudsnuk
Publication Date: July 30, 2019
In 2018’s Making Friends, seventh-grader Dany discovers a magical notebook among her late aunt’s things that brings whatever is drawn in them to life, including friends, magical rings, and an evil (but good-looking) disembodied head. Making Friends: Back to the Drawing Board takes place soon after the events of the first one, with the gym at Melton Middle School, the location of the final showdown, still a hazard zone. And Dany still struggles with friendships, particularly with Cara, who she describes as “Madison and Aleesha’s friend (not mine).” When Cara tells Dany she’s annoying, Dany actually pays her to pretend to be her friend, but it doesn’t really help. Agonizing over going back to school, Dany decides to create a clone to do it for her. Cloney lives inside of a “pikkiball” (essentially a pokeball) in an amazing room that recalls I Dream of Jeannie, and Dany can stay inside the pikkiball, playing video games and watching Cloney live her life for her. Things become even more complicated when Cloney and Dany break a bottle in the basement while digging out her sister’s old math tests and unleash a magic dog on the town.